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Holding Icon Pass Your MOT

Obviously you can't examine your car to the same standard as an actual garage, but working through the following checks will help you to identify some of the possible problem areas before taking your car for its MOT test.
Pass Your MOT

Checklist

Tools/materials needed:

How to Pass Your MOT
 

Step 1 - Cleaning & Handbrake

Step 1

Clean the car thoroughly inside and out. If it looks well cared-for, the tester may be more likely to pass a borderline component.

Check that the handbrake works correctly. If you have to pull the lever a long way up (too many clicks), the cable may need adjustment.

Step 2 - Check Brake Fluid

Step 2

Check the brake fluid level. Press the brake pedal and make sure that it doesn't feel spongy. If it does, there may be air in the hydraulic system which must be removed by bleeding.

Step 3 - Shocks & Screen

Step 3

'Bounce' each corner of the car in turn. If the car doesn't settle after 1 or 2 bounces, the shock absorbers are worn out. Check for excessive play at the steering wheel, indicating wear in the linkage. There must be no cracks or chips in the windscreen within the driver's field of view.

Find out more about our windscreen chip repair service

Step 4 - Check Mirrors

Step 4

Check that your wing mirror and rear-view mirror are in good condition, and that it is possible to adjust them. If they are broken or cracked, replace the mirror glass or the entire mirror.

Step 5 - Things Not To Miss

Step 5

Check the horn, the windscreen washers and wiper blades. Renew worn wiper blades and top up your screen wash if necessary.

Step 6 - External Lights

Step 6

Check the operation of all external lights. Your number plates and all lights must be clean and undamaged. If any of your lights are not working, replace the bulbs or check the wiring for loose connections.

Step 7 - Checking Your Tyres

Step 7

Check your car tyres for damage. Use a tread depth gauge to check the amount of tread remaining. The legal minimum is 1.6mm, although it's better to fit new tyres well before that.

Step 8 - Final Checks

Step 8

Check the exhaust by starting the engine and holding a clean cloth over the tailpipe. You will be able to hear if the system is leaking. Repair or renew as necessary.

Check the seat belts for fraying, cuts or other signs of damage. The front seats must be securely attached and the back-rests must lock in the upright position.

Haynes Hints

Haynes Hints

A recent service gives your car the best chance of passing an MOT. A dirty air filter or worn spark plugs can increase emissions. Diesel smoke emissions can be improved by using an injector cleaning fuel additive and giving the car a fast run just before the test. You are entitled to watch the test being carried out, and you may pick up some useful information about the general condition of your car. A friendly tester will sometimes point out items which, although not part of the test, might need attention.